The advisory wants to remind financial institutions that in the SAR narrative, it should not include their challenges during the pandemic, and should only include COVID-19 when it is tied to suspicious activity only.
An advisory was also issued regarding medical scams during COVID-19. Examples of fraudulent medical services include claims related to purported vaccines or cures for COVID-19, claims related to products that purportedly disinfect homes or buildings, and the distribution of fraudulent or unauthorized at-home COVID-19 tests. The advisory also mentions scams relating to price gouging, hoarding of medical-related items, and non-delivery fraud of medical-related goods. Specific red flags can be found in the advisory.
FinCEN requests financial institutions reference this advisory in SAR field 2 (Filing Institution Note to FinCEN) and the narrative by including the following key term: “COVID19 FIN-2020-A002” and select SAR field 34(z) (Fraud-other).